Breaking the barrier for transgender Latinas

By Jasmin Morfin

On Nov. 20 Bamby Saucedo (an activist and advocate for transgender Latina women) gave a presentation on ELAC’s campus for the Yo Soy Trans Latina event.

Salcedo has been recognized nationally and internationally as an activist and advocate.

Using her personal platform, she has become a community organizer and social justice advocate for transgender Latina women. She has been recognized for and has been awarded locally and nationally by diverse organizations. Such as the Black and Hispanic Coalition, Lambda Legal, The National LA Pride, the LGBTQ community and the Stonewall Democratic Club.

Salcedo is the program founder of the trans Latina based coalition and trans Latina immigrant leaders. Her work consists of intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, social class, HIV positive status, immigration status, and more.

In Salcedo’s speech she talked on transgenders and how society has made them feel like they must conform to the social construction created by society. However, she thanks God for the opportunity to be privileged enough to share her stories of survival and perseverance.

Salcedo shares how she has overcome many trans issues in economic hardships, sexual violations, drug addiction and drug over dosage. Criminalized and attacked not only verbally but physically because she has chosen to be who she really is.

Salcedo said,“Our society has made transgenders feel unsafe in our society, and we walk out of our homes with targets on our backs.”

She states that the transgender community is everywhere and for whoever is listening “You live a dignified life, it is about respecting and supporting one another.”

Bamby started up an organization in 2008 that advocated for the needs of transgender immigrants seeking a better quality of life here in America. This national organization is called Yo Soy Trans Latina. Within this organization here in Los Angeles, they have accomplished to be represented in ten different states by 2015. The organization got its first grant to provide emergency support services for trans people in need of transportation, food, or rental assistance in 2016.

“We make shit happen,” said Salcedo. For example, there is a center for violence prevention in transgender communities in Los Angeles, and as an organization, they built Trans Power which provides health services for HIV. They also developed a workforce that help trans people get jobs and created an organization advocating for the needs of trans immigrants. This created opportunity for transgenders to advance within our society.

Seeking a better quality of life, barriers must be broken. Salcedo said “We don’t know how to react to someone we don’t know but we are just like you we are people, we bleed just like you.”

Salcedo believes that we will not obtain liberation unless all of us stand together and walk together to the gold mark to make it as a society. She is very resilient and describes herself as an intersection. Many parts of her life cross paths again and again until her point has been put across. Trans Latinos have a voice with Salcedo.

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